one world trade center tower getty One World Trade Center tower to be New York's tallest buildingIt’s been more than a decade since the Sept. 11 terrorist attack that toppled the World Trade Center buildings, and Monday (April 30) marks a monumental day for the construction of their colossal replacement, One World Trade Center tower, as the structure is set to surpass the height of the Empire State Building by 21 feet.

CNN reports that the placement of a column on the 100th floor of the steel structure will bring One World Trade Center tower to a height of 1,271 feet, making it the tallest building in New York City. It’s expected to reach 1,776 feet when it is completed in early 2014. At its base, twin reflecting pools sit in the footprints of where the twin towers formerly stood. And the names of the nearly 3,000 people killed in the 2001 attacks and the six in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing are engraved on bronze panels around the pools.

“Today is a day where we can really look back and say the milestones we’ve surpassed and overcome are certainly more significant than the ones ahead of us,” says Mike Mennella, the construction executive in charge of building the first towers and who is helping to build their replacement. “The building is in position now where we can see it coming from the top and see it being finished off in a very, very significant way.”

The Willis Tower in Chicago, formerly known as the Sears Tower, currently remains the record holder for the tallest building in the United States at a height of 1,450 feet.

Posted by:Jennifer Harper